28th July 2012 - Match Reports.

Halesowen vs Barnards Green CC 1sts

Barnards Green 3rd XI vs Cleobury Mortimer 1st XI

BGCC 1sts made their supporters sweat again as they won another close game to gain 24 points against Halesowen. Seth Somers Park ground was the venue for this Birmingham League Div. 2 fixture. Halesowen won the toss and decided to bat.

Quami and Shauib opened the batting facing Phil Harris and Tom Poole. Poole grabbed a wicket in his first over when Shauib edged one to Andy Ford at second slip – catching it cleanly high and to his right. Moseley joined Quami and they put on 40 before Moseley was caught at mid-on by Rurawhe, for 9 in Tim Williams' only over of the day. This brought Halesowen overseas Khan to the wicket and this partnership looked dangerous. Williams cleverly changed the bowling regularly to prevent Halesowen batsmen from settling. While Andy Ford kept it tight at one end Jon Dovey joined the attack and continued his habit of dismissing key top order batsmen. Khan went first, he edged one just past the keeper for 4 then was caught behind by Brewer for 22. Then Quami was clean bowled on 48 which was a shame as he had batted well, hitting 8 fours.

This left Halesowen 88 for 4 with Griffiths and Tromans at the crease. This pair consolidated and had put on 34 when Ford grabbed the wicket of Griffiths, he was caught behind at the third attempt by keeper Brewer for 18. Harvey joined Tromans and they started to rotate the strike and accumulate the runs in mainly singles. Williams brought back Harris and he took the wicket of Tromans as he was caught by Ford at extra cover for 30. Ford got his reward for a good spell of bowling when he trapped Harvey lbw for 13, for his second wicket.

Halesowen were now 145 for 6 with Croft and D Jeavons batting. Croft looked dangerous with some big hitting and he had made 16 when he was dismissed by Harris. He middled one to square leg expecting to get another boundary when Tom Poole stuck out a hand to grab a spectacular one-handed catch. Poole returned to the attack and got his second wicket when Rhodes was out for 5, caught behind by Brewer to give the young keeper his third catch of the day. M Jeavons was the 10 wicket to fall when he was cleaned bowled first ball by Harris. D Jeavons was not out 15 as Halesowen were bowled out for 188 in the 52 over.

Adam Dovey and Mark Hopper took to the field knowing Barnards Green now had 58 overs to get 189. Rhodes and Croft opened the bowling and made it difficult for the openers. Hooper fell first caught behind for 8, this brought Josh Rurawhe in and he and Dovey made slow and steady progress. Croft got his reward for some excellent bowling as he clean bowled both Rurawhe (10) and Dovey (22) to leave the Green on 56 for 3. This soon became 61 for 5 as both Andy Ford and Jon Dovey didn't trouble the scorers. Ford was bowled by Croft then Jon Dovey became his 4 victim as he was caught behind first ball. Croft eventually finished with 4 for 44 off his 17 overs.

So Harris and Elliot Hennessy faced an uphill battle but with 34 overs left they could bide their time. Hennessy had made 11 before being clean bowled by D Jeavons – a good contribution with the partnership with Harris bringing 33. Tom Clack joined Harris and these two had also put on 33 when Clack was run out for 15, with a slight hesitation starting the second run being his downfall.

Tim Williams came in with 62 still needed and Harris reached his 50 the next ball. Halesowen's tails were up and the pressure built on the Green batsmen (and spectators!). Williams and Harris batted sensibly edging closer to the target by taking singles. Williams had reached 7 when he was dismissed by M Jeavons when Khan took a fine catch at gully. Ash Brewer came to the crease with 50 needed, he made 5 before being clean bowled by Khan.

With BGCC 148 for 9 Halesowen clearly expected to quickly win the match but with BGCC batting all the way down to 11 it was not a forgone conclusion. Harris was joined by Tom Poole and they clearly decided to attack the bowling to quickly get nearer to the total. Harris hit 18 off M Jevons' next over including 2 sixes and a four and the mood of the game changed. Confident hitting from both Harris and Poole over the next few overs put the pressure back onto Halesowen. The score had reached 185 when Poole chipped one to mid-on only for Harvey to drop the catch. The winning runs came two overs later as Harris hit Rhodes through the covers. Halesowen were desperate to claim a run out for the final wicket but the throw went past allowing a third run to be taken. Poole was not out 9 in a vital 10 wicket partnership of 41. Harris' match wining innings of 89 included 10 fours and 2 sixes. BGCC take a full 24 points from the game allowing them to move up to 3 in the league.


Halesowen vs BGCC 4ths – 28th July 2012

A very inexperienced and makeshift Green side travelled to Halesowen, looking to rely upon their bowlers to do the business in view of an obvioudsly under-strength batting line up. However, with Sam Daffin pulling up lame halfway through his second over and one of the team going to totally the wrong ground, The Green would need look to their slow bowlers if they were to salvage anything from this match.

The young, ever-smiling Zac Marsh bowled superbly to return figures of 8 overs 1 for 20 with Dave Price, an unexpected opener, playing a supporting role at the other end. Chris Freeman bowled 12 overs of controlled spin to make scoring difficult for the Halesowen batsmen but wickets were hard to come by. Andy Banks was brought into the attack to be met with an onslaught of ferocious hitting but, supported by an excellent performance behind the stumps and the safe hands of a number of his colleagues, he picked up four wickets as the home team were bowled out for 176.

This was a good all round performance in the field and should have at least given The Green a chance but once again their batting was lacking. Only veteran Steve Freeman (15) and debutante Robert Wilson (14) would get into double figures as four ducks were recorded in The Green’s pathetic total of 50 all out in the 32nd over.

Bowling figures
Zac Marsh 8-2-20-1   Dave Price 10-2-34-1      C Freeman 12-2-39-1
Andy Banks 9-61-4   Robbie Lewis 3 -1- 6 - 2


On a hot and frustrating day, Green skipper Dick Brown tackled at least three tasks too many:
[1] By constant use of his phone he directed Olympic-ceremony-scale manoeuvres to assemble his 3
rd XI at Newland, and the 4th XI at Halesowen, and not vice versa or at any intermediate spots.
[2] With no fuss, and predictably, he lost an important toss.
[3] Invited to bat, he proposed an adventurous order that depended rather unwisely on [1].
[4] Throughout the match, facing a keen and much younger side, and fuming against medical accidents and self-inflicted tactical difficulties, he had to stay calm in charge of his mixed bag of veterans. He struggled and nearly exploded before winning with overs to spare.
Cleobury were a man short, but had thrashed the Green in their corresponding home fixture, showing much greater all-round firepower. Brown chose Dave White and Kevin Ratcliffe for a “quick start”, keeping Chris Hill as middle-order insurance. When White's start was quickly ended by Shorter's yorker, and Roger Thompson revealed that his contact lenses were at home, this batting plan fell to pieces. Jeremy Clarke, hauled into the 3rds and arriving just in time at no. 3, pounced on the looser offerings from Baldwin, but Ratcliffe’s LBW dismissal brought Hill to the crease as a stopgap no. 4. He looked in no trouble and sweetly stroked a full toss to cover.
Though Clarke amassed a useful 42, the middle-order insurance now seemed less reliable. Steve Alamutu and Ryan Scullion made no impact and the warning signs were clear, but a decent recovery was staged by Anshuman (47), the now well-equipped Thompson (33), and finally Brown whose 32 considerably multiplied his season’s aggregate. With plentiful extras the Green posted 212 all out; Dave Shorter and James Manley took four wickets each.

Over tea an appalling prospect dawned on even the least alert: up to 62 overs in the field, on a warm day, against a team of fit quick-running youngsters. So Brown’s counterintuitive masterstroke was to open with Hill and Scullion, a pair much feared around the shires in the late 1980s but now showing signs of maturity.
Cleobury took a confident aggressive line, but Manley slipped while backing up, tweaked a tendon, and had to retire despite skilled massage from Thompson. Scullion, after suffering two drops, lured Griffiths with a slowish long hop and the chance was finally grasped at square leg. Hill persevered through several loud and close LBW appeals, then delivered a welcome double-wicket maiden, with Evans edging behind and Green undone by a sharp leg-cutter. But on a hot afternoon and with Redfern digging in it became clear, even to Brown in the end, that fresh bowling might help matters; Anshuman and Scullion jr were introduced.
Shorter, lively from the start, aimed a huge heave at Scullion. There was dead silence for a time, and then startled applause as Hill took an excellent steepling catch at long-off. Two wickets for Anshuman, including the key one of Redfern (37) caught behind by the mosquito-bitten jet-lagged White, improved the situation. After a short lull Clarke's leg-spin brought essential variety, some chasing at deep square leg, and an LBW for his arm ball - not disguised or elegant, but undoubtedly straight. Cleobury suffered more bad luck: Howman lost his balance, was stumped by White off Clarke, and was helped to the pavilion with an injured knee.
This left Brown with one more wicket to find in some 25 overs, against no. 11 Griffiths and the immobile Manley (plus the runner Shorter). But his team was elderly, tired, and fractious. Hill tried a second spell and watched with approval as Anshuman, obviously out to impress as an all-rounder, swooped and hit the non-striker’s stumps; but in the confusion of shouts and multiple batsmen the umpire was unsighted and, rightly, felt unable to end the game. Late in the day, Cleobury had a sensible pair who were happy to accumulate while the Green squabbled.
Hill, with wise advice from the boundary, had been recommending a change of plan, but was asked to continue at the Swan end. The normal limit is 17 overs and this was his 18
th. A long discussion with the captains, the umpire and the rule book ensued. Brown had made several errors, as his team were quick to point out, but this was not one of them – Cleobury were entitled to the 12 extra overs, and the Green’s bowling limit rose in proportion. The game resumed. Thompson, clear-sighted and with a reputation for breaking partnerships, settled the issue by trimming Griffiths's stumps.
Despite the farcical scenes and painful injuries, both sides kept a sense of humour as the Green collected 24 valuable points and Brown turned to his last and most difficult task. Most unusually, only Ryan Scullion and one other were entitled to a match fee reduction on age grounds: Ben Alamutu fielded and scored keenly amid the chaos.

Barnards Green 212 all out (38 overs) ; Anshuman 47, J Clarke 42; D Shorter 4 for 28, J Manley 4 for 62

Cleobury Mortimer 146 all out (51 overs) ; J Manley 44*, T Redfern 37